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Cargo van backs up into Geneva house

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – Carol Clark was sitting on the back porch of her house on the 600 block of McKinley Avenue when she heard a crash. 

A 23-year-old man who belongs to a soccer team living across the street backed a cargo van out of the driveway and according to the crash report, his sandal got stuck under the brake. The van rolled into the street and rear-ended the front of her house.

It happened shortly before 6 p.m. Sept. 2 and left the 70-year-old widow reeling and shaking.

“I thought my tree had split in two and fallen on my house,” Clark said. “My whole foundation is compromised, it’s moved about three inches. The siding is ruined. ... The sill plate is cracked in half. They’re going to have to have the living room wall completely torn out, the basement wall completely torn out.”

From the outside of the house, the extent of the damage is not apparent, Clark said, but there is plenty inside, including cracked and broken plaster everywhere.

Clark said she still is waiting to hear final details from an insurance adjuster.

“I’m just overwhelmed,” Clark said. “My whole sense of well being is gone.”

Police ticketed the driver, Prince M. Lapnet, 23, of the 600 block of McKinley Avenue, for driving without a valid driver’s license. He is scheduled to appear in traffic court Oct. 15.

Lapnet said he did not want to comment about the crash.

Though the crash report lists Bret Hall as the owner of the a  2011 Ford Econoline 350, Hall said the vehicle belongs to a nonprofit, Bridges FC, which trains soccer players from around the world.

Hall said Lapnet did not have permission to move the Econoline. 

“It was a dumb mistake,” Hall said. “I apologized. He should not have been touching that van. The vehicle was moving 5 miles an hour and anything broken, we have to take care of. The insurance company will do what is right. We have $2 million in insurance.”

Clark said another aspect of the crash that still has her upset is that an hour and a half before the van hit her house, she had been sitting with an 8-month-old grandbaby.

“The paperweight in the window sill flew and shattered the glass coffee table right where I had been sitting with my granddaughter in my arms,” Clark said. “I have not cried yet, but I’m coming real close.”

Hall said as a grandfather himself, he understand how upset Clark is, but he is grateful no one was hurt.

“I feel terrible that she is upset,” Hall said. “She’s shook up and rightfully so. Thank God nothing else was done.”

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